Outcome of the Proposed Enugu Youths & Students protest; Truth of the Matter
…debunks the Misleading News posted on Instagram by @officialefcc about their visit.
The attention of the Leadership Southeast Youths, comprising #NYCN, #NANS and #Ohaneze Ndigbo Youth Wing has been drawn to varying news from numerous media outlets making rounds on social media platforms about the incidence which transpired at Castle Majestic Hotel Enugu between the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Delegates at the Expanded SouthEast Youth Stakeholders Emergency Meeting around 10pm on 16th of September, 2021.
Based on the foregoing, they issued this official statement to update Ndi-igbo on the true state of the matter, thus;
1. Enugu State played host to the just concluded lawful SouthEast Youth Stakeholders Meeting, convened by Mazi Chukwuma Okpalaezeukwu, and was geared towards addressing the issue of “Security and Stability in the Southeast”.
2. The Convention went soar when men of the EFCC invaded the Location of the Meeting around 10pm, brutalizing and whisking away every young person at sight, into five(5) buses which they came with. It was obviously an uncalculated wild chase of internet fraudster perpetrators, without security intelligence. In the process, some Youth Stakeholders were also harassed and taken away. Principally, the Secretary of NYCN Enugu State Chapter, Comr. Sct. Darlington Ugwuegbe and others.
3. Few Delegates, led by NYCN Chairman of Enugu State, Comrade Bartholomew Chukwuebuka Okoh, proceeded thereafter to the EFCC Office around 1am to demand the immediate release of the detained comrades.
According to their account this morning, the release was secured at about 3am and by then, their phones were already off.
It was this state of incommunicado that inflamed the outcry of the entire youth constituency and initiated mobilization for an emergency protest.
4. Nevertheless, the Delegates of the Convention, led by the National Vice President of NYCN, Comrade Innocent Nduanya did not relent as they swung into action in the early hours of Friday, 17th September 2021, immediately after granting a Press Conference on the outcome of the Emergency SouthEast Youths Stakeholders Meeting, a move which was geared towards ensuring that every Nigerian Youth and Student in unlawful detention at EFCC Zonal office Enugu was released immediately, without further embarrassment and image damage.
5. After due consultation with relevant quarters and in consideration of the current volatility of the zone, the SouthEast Youth Leaders, calmly dispersed hundreds of furious Enugu Youths and Students who were already assembled for the protest, in order to adopt a more secure approach for productive engagement.
6. On the strength of about 50 Youth Delegation, all seated in vehicles, the delegates drove down to the Department of State Security(DSS) where they engaged with the SDS, who identified with their cause and even demonstrated his keenness for such peaceful and productive engagement by sending men of the DSS to accompany the Delegates to the EFCC Office.
7. The Delegates stormed the EFCC Zonal office Enugu around 3pm and peacefully registered the grievances of SouthEast Youths and Students against the Commission.
8. They went further to make thier demands, thus;
“a. That EFCC ought to be an intelligence agency that should operate on the basis of reliable intelligence and not their recent throw-the-net approach. That the Leadership of the Commission should enjoin thier officers to desist from violation of human rights and harassment of Enugu state and South East youths. That any further occurrences will be matched with actions without warning.
b. We demand for the repair/replacement of all the broken/lost gadgets/properties belonging to guests of Castle Majestic Hotel Enugu during the EFCC ‘unlawful raid’ on 16/09/2021.
c. The EFCC shall bear the hospital bills of all youths and students who were injured during the ordeal.
d. Immediate and unconditional release of all detainees that are without blemish, still in their unlawful custody.
e. That going forward, the Commission should evolve it’s media arm to be able to release counter-press-content after confirming the Innocence of any suspected fraudster. This is necessary inorder to clear the image of such persons, especially on the media space.
f. That failure to meet the above demands, we shall sue EFCC to court with appropriate charges and damages, within the ambeits of the law.”
9. In response, the Zonal Commander of EFCC, Mr. Johnson Oshodi thanked the Leadership of SouthEast Youths for handling the matter with maximum maturity and diplomacy, signalling an evident readiness of young persons to take over leadership, at all levels.
10. Mr. Oshodi also tendered an unreserved apology, on behalf of EFCC, to Southeast youths and students for the gross misconduct of his men at the field in recent times, and further pledged to address the demands of the delegation, immediately.
11. At the end of the peaceful interface, the Zonal Commander took the Youth Leaders to thier detention facility in order to verify that no other innocent Nigerian youth is still in thier custody, maintaining that every detainee still in thier custody has a pending case to answer.